Once every newspaper’s chilliest corner, the obituaries section is now the home of some of the best story-telling in journalism. The journalist and obituarist Nick Caistor looks back at how obituaries changed during the late 1980s and 90s, in the UK, and examines why obits are still so important, and so beloved.
Literary festivals are sprouting all over the UK, from Dartington to Althorp. But do visitors roll up for the literature, or the seafood wraps? And why is the whole phenomenon run on shoestring economics, with the writers themselves the last to be paid? Mark McCrum reflects on the festival vogue, and says it may be time for a new touring model.